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Preparing for Surgery

Getting Ready for Your Child's Heart Surgery

Days and weeks before surgery, there are things you need to do to make sure your child is ready. Please review this information, and if you have any questions, please call 253-403-3527.

What to Bring to the Hospital

When packing a bag for your child's hospital stay, there are a few things you'll want to include:

  • Comfortable pajamas (a two-piece set with a top that opens in the front works best)
  • Slippers
  • Favorite small toys for younger children
  • iPod, MP3, laptop, tablet,electronic games, and so on
  • Favorite videos/DVDs
  • Family picture
  • Special blanket, pacifier, stuffed animal or other comfort item
  • Child's Social Security Card or number
  • Child's insurance card
  • Inhalers for asthma
  • Containers and care supplies for glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids or retainers
  • Cell phones are okay, on vibrate only (ringer off)

What Not To Bring

  • Jewelry and other valuables
  • Flowers (not allowed in the Intensive Care Unit)
  • Latex balloons (Mylar balloons are allowed)

The Night Before Surgery

In case of illness — It's important that your child be as healthy as possible before undergoing surgery. If your child becomes ill within two weeks of surgery, please let your child's cardiologist know.

These are the signs and symptoms to watch for and report:

  • Fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Medications — At least one week before surgery, talk to your child's doctor about when to stop prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Make sure the doctor is aware of any and all medications you give your child.

Bathing InstructionsPDF Document — Your heart surgery team will give you special bathing instructions.

Fasting Guidelines — In the hours immediately before surgery, child needs to have an empty stomach to help prevent upset stomach during or after surgery. Your heart surgery team will give you specific instructions regarding eating and drinking for the night before and the morning of surgery.